As with mining, the coffee industry has the ability to become a role-model directing world environmental preservation. Wouldn’t that be something?
Images of ‘Slash and Burn’ deforestation to quench the bottomless cup of coffee lovers, of which I’m no exception, leaves a bitterness on the rim of what should be ‘The nectar extracted from heaven.’
Like many developing industries, more so for those entering a marriage of increasing opportunity, there are timelines of progression and ongoing adjustments needed to keep up with sustainability.
Gone are the days of single discipline correction and balancing of company books.
It is clearly understood and supported by numerous studies that emerging consumers reflect their company loyalty with emotion and self-lifestyle. This developing trend and link to financial capitalization equally – or in my view more importantly – paves the way forward for improved company policy and bio-sustainable innovation.1
Having marched against aspects of the past mining industry and political imbalance, it quickly became apparent that to spite either side of the debate over ‘black and white’ of industry or right of expression, the solution lies in the ‘grey.’ Enlightened with love, caffeine, and what was seen as discarded loyalties to mother earth, I traded my straw hat for the hard hat of the mining policies of the time. My intent was to filter into the veins of an industry with state, federal, and international government influence to inspire awareness, initiate innovative improvement and encourage interactive growth. It wasn’t long before my branches reached into recycling, reduction of use of resources, environmentally responsible packaging, introduction of earth friendly awareness, and interaction across groups. With a universal view of blending black and white into a win-win grey, I plunged into creating new company policy to amalgamate industry, environment, and local communities. Quicker than an espresso acknowledgement, the concepts and innovations were embraced into policy, leading the way for future changes.2
With frothed egos, industry power and increasing consumer support, the age of ‘grey’ mining continues to grind forward.
Parallels of mining to the coffee industry can been seen steeping from the ashes of prior roasts (figures 1,2) emerging with improved aromas and blends of difference.
Like the mining industry, the coffee industry not only has the ability to follow integrated accountability and sustainability, but can also choose to align with consumer emotional loyalty (CEL.) Furthermore, the coffee industry could develop legislative methods to integrate coffee lovers and local communities into feeling like they are part of the process leading world preservation.
There are emerging examples of proactive approaches to acknowledging, quantifying, and correcting detrimental human impact on fauna and flora. Without undermining those beautiful catalysts, the obvious opportunity is to choose prevention over a bandage approach, as is choosing inclusion over conquest.4 What if communities felt that they were the local industry and end consumers felt connected and supportive to the coffee they breathe.
I relate the current trend of (CEL) to past transitions such as those having moved away from the ‘spray and pray’ approach of managing pest and plant diseases to the integrated pest management of today. We have the ability, means and stimulation to design habitat models overlaying ever increasing layers of interaction for rebalance, to achieve prosperity for all.
Why not expand our awareness and uplift our consciousness using the network and love of an exceptional cup of coffee?
Imagine feeling the uplifting energy of the circle of coffee processes from the plant to ‘the nectar of nature’ that tantalizes our taste buds, knowing they are in harmony and that we are part of its fruition. Not only will we feel enlightened, but able to visualize the joys and sense of pristine environments, smiling communities and a sustainably balanced industry.
Projects including collection of regional seed, reforestation nurseries, animal and community reintroductions and care will soon become the energy inside each cup!5
1 Climate Change Report 2008, Professor R. Garnaut.
2 Morris Corp, Mine-Site Environment Management Policy 2011, G.B Lupton.
3 Rio Tinto in the NW Territories, Canada. Case Study 9, Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Scientific Monitoring at Diavik Diamond Mine 2011, Colleen English.
4 Restoring Environmental Damage, Putting a Price on Ecosystem Services 2013, Simon Tilling.
5 Managing Mangroves and Capturing Carbon in Kenyan Communities 2009; Burkina Faso Greening the Desert 2012.
by Gregory Lupton (Plant Physiologist)